Q: Sister died with no will, divorced & deceased husband, no children, no real estate, small savings & credit card debt.
My sister passed away in Reno late June. She was divorced 18 years ago & ex is now deceased , no children, no will & a very small estate. Her bank account is less than $5,000, no safe deposit box, no real estate (she lived in an apartment with no valuables) & credit card debt of about $10,000. Can my wife file an Affidavit of Entitlement for Small Estates for her bank account to help cover the cremation & misc costs & does it need to go through the court? Would she be on the hook to pay off the credit card debt?
A: The Affidavit of Small Estates should work. First, you do not file the Affidavit of Entitlement. You, not your wife, should create the Affidavit of Entitlement and present the same to the applicable bank along with a certified copy of the death certificate and identification. The bank should transfer the money to you. Be sure to keep the receipts of the expenses of burial and cost to create the Affidavit. Then, since your sister's debts are greater than the account, for all the credit cards / debt outstanding, send a proportionate amount to each creditor of what remains. To create the Affidavit of Entitlement you must consider ALL ASSETS your sister left behind. If the total is greater than $25,000, then a Set Aside Estate procedure is applicable.
Hope this helps. I wish you well.
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